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Motorsport 2008: My View



Thought I would post a few of my Motorsport efforts from 2008, as I don't think I've posted any in the Photography section before, and I'm bored. Called time on the remaining events this year due to taking it easy whilst I wait for my op, and only having a D50 and one charged battery (no charger) as I've sold my main kit with the intention of picking a D90 up later next month.

Anyhow, a bit of info behind each shot so I'm sort of explaining how I did it, etc. These aren't necessarily my best or favourites, just ones I thought were interesting to explain and may hopefully offer up a few ideas to others.

Early start to the year (February), the few circuit events between October and March are superb when conditions are right, the light easily improves photos by a good 30% compared to the horrible direct sunlight experienced during the main season. I highly recommend getting to some 'out of season' events, your photos WILL be better than ones taken at the major events in the Summer months.

Shutter Priority @ 1/80. 300mm



My one Rally trip of the year (Sunseeker), hard work compared to circuit events as assuming you might get to 3 stages at the most in a day, you only have that times the number of cars to get some shots. I got to 2 stages and stayed for about 60 cars each time, so potentially only had 120 shots to capture.

With a bit of clever positioning you can really make it look like you are in the thick of the action, you could probably get a sharper shot by shooting as fast as the light will allow, but I'm a sucker for movement so went with a speed more suited to panning...

Shutter Priority @ 1/320. 200mm



And my first experiment with cars 'leaving' the frame. Technically this is against the basic rules of motorsport photography, but when done well it can work, in my opinion, it always pays to have a bit of fun, try your own ideas etc...

Shutter Priority @ 1/50. 86mm



Back to the circuit, and further experiments with leaving the frame. This for me is my favourite image of 2008. I must have spent 10hrs at this exact spot over the rest of the season trying to better this, but this is still the one.

Shutter Priority @ 1/40. 200mm



Goodwood Festival of Speed next. I decided to 'go brave' and shoot at speeds I knew may not give me many keepers, as my efforts from last year were very safe and I rarely look at them anymore. Fortunately a further years worth of practice since FoS 2007 paid off, and I was absolutely thrilled with the number of interesting shots I came away with.

Shutter Priority @ 1/100. 200mm



Shooting wide is fun, that's the point of my next shot. It helps if you have something interesting in the background (a packed grandstand would look awesome), but even so, if you blur out the dull stuff there is nothing more rewarding than getting a lovely wide shot with a tiny car nice and sharp in frame...

Shutter Priority @ 1/25. 80mm



Something I'm very guilty of: only shooting the action. Lots of fun to be had in and around the paddock so that's something I want to do more of, here is a driver change, always fun to watch. I usually shoot as near to as wide open as possible to blur the distracting background out in these circumstances...

Aperture Priority @ F2.8. 145mm



Bikes! I don't like watching them, I'm not a fan of them in general, but damn they are awesome to photograph. The variation of possible shots is immense, and you can get away with ridiculously slow shutter speeds due to the tiny dimensions of the bikes.

Shutter Priority @ 1/30. 420mm


Shutter Priority @ 1/125. 420mm



Angles. No matter how many times you've visited a circuit, there are always new places to be found. The least obvious to many, but also the most attainable to the average 'behind the fence' spectator is about 4ft below them, crouch (or lay) down and you can add huge impact to an image.

Aperture Priority @ F2.8. 270mm



Ignore what those around you are doing. I've noticed I'm almost always shooting out of sync with the other photographers when I'm near quite a few of them, particularly the pros, or just doing something completely different like panning when they are all taking static shots. This is a good thing, as it means you are capturing something different to everybody else.

Everyone had either given up shooting (particularly panning) or had got their big flash guns out, but I kept shooting as normal, it worked...

Manual @ 1/15, f2.8. 120mm



And finally, always be ready. Even when the race is over and they are clearing the track, keep your camera handy, even if it's just in Auto Mode, you never know what you may see...

Programme Mode @ 300mm



As it's all about learning, a couple of things stick out from this years efforts. The main thing, EXPERIMENT. Even if I come home with 10 keepers, if one is an absolute killer image, that's all that matters. As I see it, a year down the line the only ones I go back to are the different/edgy/unique shots, there may have been an event where I got 200 keepers, but if none of them are special, I probably won't look at them again.

Secondly, I want to shoot wider next year. Hoping to add a Sigma 50-150 2.8 with Birthday funds (March), and that should open up some fun opportunities. The obvious thing is to go as long as you can with Motorsport, but sometimes the bigger picture is worth looking at. I would hope to come away with quite a few good images well under 100mm next season.
 
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  Megane RS 275 Trophy
Fantastic collection with great info about each shot, Also thanks for the advice at the end.
 
  A4 Avant
Love your work, great write up as well.

It's seeing your photos that makes me experiment more with shots.
 
  Fiat Coupe 20vt
Fantastic pics and great write up, i'm genuinely in awe of some of the shutter speeds you shoot at whilst still getting such quality photos. That sidecar one in particular definitely stands out as one of my favourites of yours from this year.
 
Cheers guys, just realised how much fun I've had this year when I put this together, and it's been great comparing to 2007 as I feel I've improved loads.

Obviously still loads to work on, but I feel like I got somewhere this year, which was cool.
 
  Oil Burner
Nice review mate and some excellent photos, your minor obsession with slow shutter speeds always has interested me, to the point of imitation.

I might do something similar. Ive been looking back at my photos, as i only started photography in December of last year, and have made a fair amount of progress in that short time. Certainly made alot of progress into my bank account.
 
  UR R26R.5, VW Golf R
I dont know anything about shutter speeds or any of that other jargon, but fantastic post mate, and great pictures! :cool:
 
same as above really, always nice to see.

if u had bothered to blur that ghastly porka at the britcar and focused on the pits u could of taken a pic of me, how rude ;)
 
your minor obsession with slow shutter speeds always has interested me, to the point of imitation.

My minor obsession with slow shutter speeds has just got me some unbelievable work, completely buzzing at the moment! Don't want to say too much yet, but think car manufacturer, think very expensive car, think new model, think brochure shots, think little ol' me shooting away ;)
 

TheEvilGiraffe

South East - Essex
ClioSport Area Rep
My minor obsession with slow shutter speeds has just got me some unbelievable work, completely buzzing at the moment! Don't want to say too much yet, but think car manufacturer, think very expensive car, think new model, think brochure shots, think little ol' me shooting away ;)

Expensive ? Car ? It can only be the new Twingo !!

:race:
 

MaLicE

Honorary Member
ClioSport Club Member
  Lazy v8
My minor obsession with slow shutter speeds has just got me some unbelievable work, completely buzzing at the moment! Don't want to say too much yet, but think car manufacturer, think very expensive car, think new model, think brochure shots, think little ol' me shooting away ;)

congrats and good luck matey :) feels good toget a big job doesnt it :D
 
  VaVa
My minor obsession with slow shutter speeds has just got me some unbelievable work, completely buzzing at the moment! Don't want to say too much yet, but think car manufacturer, think very expensive car, think new model, think brochure shots, think little ol' me shooting away ;)

No less than you deserve fella! Nice one!
 
  Suzuki Swift Sport
Great shots :) good to see what your doing to achieve your shots - I work to similar guidelines (although not as good end results :( haha)
 
  Clio 197 - TBP style
same as above really, always nice to see.

if u had bothered to blur that ghastly porka at the britcar and focused on the pits u could of taken a pic of me, how rude ;)

And even me asleep at the back of the garage.

They are some of the best pics i have seen in a while the Aston is stunning.

and the poker at the britcar is another good one, the only thing better about that was the exhaust not just as it got past our garage.
 


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